Friday, March 16, 2018

Georgia: Is it NRA or Amazon?

It seems improbable, but Georgia state government’s punishment of its major industry, Delta Airlines, for cancelling NRA member discounts may be reverberating to Colorado’s benefit.

Atlanta Channel 11Alive, a Gannett sister station of Denver’s Channel 9KUSA, aired a news  segment from investigative reporter, Brendan Keefe, speculating that the Georgia politicians’ action could damage the state’s bid to win the Amazon headquarters. Atlanta is considered a frontrunner, but pro-gun culture reflected in the hostility toward Delta created a controversy that has local economic development advocates worried.

My comments for the segment were:
“It is definitely a factor,” Ciruli said. “I always had this image of Atlanta of being a very progressive city, and suddenly this interaction with the NRA, it both surprised me, particularly taking on a major corporation like that, but it also suggested that the political culture there is so rigid, so committed to its position, that it’s willing to take on an incredible economic asset like that, and also send a potential signal in terms of its competitive position with Amazon.”
Ciruli said corporate leadership is "incredibly sensitive to these boycotts" and their employees', customers' and shareholders' cultural attitudes.
"You get out on the edge of these issues – like guns, or gay rights, or race – you will get a backlash," Ciruli said. "And I think that’s what Georgia is dealing with right now is a backlash.”
Amazon is generally viewed as a progressive company, and its founder personally owns the Washington Post. So, imagine Jeff Bezos seeing this headline in his own paper – at the same time his company is considering Atlanta as its second home.
“He is probably more alert and more attentive than 95 percent of the corporate leadership of this country, and his editorial decisions are dramatically out of sync with the Georgia state legislature right now,” Ciruli said.

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